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A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??

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Peter T. 02 Sep 01 - 10:48 AM
Sorcha 02 Sep 01 - 10:56 AM
Jeri 02 Sep 01 - 11:18 AM
wysiwyg 02 Sep 01 - 12:12 PM
Lin in Kansas 02 Sep 01 - 01:31 PM
Lin in Kansas 02 Sep 01 - 02:03 PM
Lin in Kansas 02 Sep 01 - 02:09 PM
catspaw49 02 Sep 01 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,woinem1@aol.com 02 Sep 01 - 04:46 PM
catspaw49 02 Sep 01 - 05:11 PM
Helen 02 Sep 01 - 07:15 PM
Helen 02 Sep 01 - 07:21 PM
Sorcha 02 Sep 01 - 07:28 PM
Helen 02 Sep 01 - 07:34 PM
wysiwyg 02 Sep 01 - 07:57 PM
Geoff the Duck 03 Sep 01 - 07:35 AM
Peter T. 03 Sep 01 - 10:35 AM
wysiwyg 03 Sep 01 - 11:55 AM
Helen 04 Sep 01 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,uli 05 Sep 01 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,uli 07 Sep 01 - 07:21 AM
wysiwyg 07 Sep 01 - 08:39 AM
Bat Goddess 07 Sep 01 - 12:06 PM
GUEST 07 Sep 01 - 12:33 PM
Helen 07 Sep 01 - 08:05 PM
GUEST,uli 08 Sep 01 - 05:43 PM
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Subject: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: Peter T.
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 10:48 AM

Could someone do me a kindness and locate a picture of an Aeolian Harp on the net (the sort of thing that Romantics had on their windowsill) and/or how to build one? I need one for a presentation later this week, and I have no time due to various emergencies to search for one -- I am only here on the Net (meaning Mudcat) about 5 minutes a day, if that, at the moment. I have tried a couple of searches, but have not been able to turn one up. I would be very, very grateful for any help.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: Sorcha
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 10:56 AM

Peter, try here. The first hit is a sketch with plans, the next has a photo...........don't know why you had trubble.


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 11:18 AM

This one has all sorts of information, pictures, and a diagram of how to make one. (Got it out of Sorcha's linked search.)


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 12:12 PM

That is fascinating-- I had never heard of these.

Peter, there's a sound clip link near the topmost phto. The info on plans (and tuning) is about halfway down the very long page Jeri linked. Also around there, there is also a link to a 2-minute clip that explains the harp while one is playing in the background.

Now I understand how the Wichita Lineman might have heard his love singing through the wires... the author of this web page talks about listening to the Aeolian harp effect of the wind blowing through phone lines and power lines.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 01:31 PM

Peter, this link (here) (another one from Sorcha's posting of links above) has some really gorgeous, close-up pictures, and a sound bite too.

Several years ago, a guy who lived on one of the islands in the Puget Sound built a 6-7 foot Aeolian harp and set it out on a rock spit at the edge of the water. (CRS, can't remember his name...John P, do you know?) The harps do indeed make beautiful music.

Lin


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 02:03 PM

Peter, don't know what you need for your presentation, but here are some fairly simple instructions for building a 4-string wind harp:

"To make an AEolian Harp.

Of very thin cedar, pine, or other soft wood make a box 5 or 6 inches deep, 7 or 8 inches wide, and of a length just equal to the width of the window in which it is to be placed. Across the top, near each end, glue a strip of wood half an inch high and a quarter of an inch thick, for bridges. Into the ends of the box insert wooden pins, like those of a violin, to wind the strings around, two pins in each end. Make a sound-hole in the middle of the top, and string the box with small cat gut, or blue first-fiddle strings. Fastening one end of each string to a metallic pin in one end of the box, and, carrying it over the bridges, wind it around the turning-pin in the opposite end of the box. The ends of the box should be increased in thickness where the wooden pins enter, by a piece of wood glued upon the inside. Tune the strings in unison and place the box in the window. It is better to have four strings, as described, but a harp with a single string produces an exceedingly sweet melody of notes, which vary with the force of the wind."

From this site which has lots of fascinating info.

Lin


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 02:09 PM

Sorry to multiple-post like this, but these things fascinate me.

Here's the info about the "guy in Puget Sound" I mentioned above. Ron Konzak

Just a tad bit bigger than I thought!

Lin


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 02:23 PM

Hey PT.....Some really wonderful stuff here and that 6 foot thing is unbelievable, but if you want to make a small one for your window, they are really not very hard at all. A basic one can be a rectangular box with pin blocks of a solid wood like rock maple on either end and a small wind deflector (enhancer) on the top. You can have any number of strings and tuned anyway you like (some nice "Eastern" sounds?).

Sounds like a project....You got a shop or howzabout Rick and make two? I built probably 30 or so when building dulcimers as they are a great use for scrap material (everyone was a bit different) and they all sold right away (Door Chimes were another good use and sold well).

Have Fun!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: GUEST,woinem1@aol.com
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 04:46 PM

Hi Peter! (Hi Susan, thanks for the hint!) The most simple way of building an aeolian harp I'd consider to make one from old tins. No woodworking knowledges no special tools are needed. See http://members.aol.com/woinem1/index/blechdos.htm#The

Built a harp (140cm x 40cm x 8cm) from birch-plywood (5mm) for experimenting purposes in the last weeks- and found it GOOD sounding! Used Nylon strings for generating the tones and metal ones for prolonged sounding/ mixing of tones. You can use every house/ cupboard etc. made of wood for transforming it to a good resonator. Just fix a metal thread/ string under tension to the wooden wall - and hear. Aeoliastically Uli


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 05:11 PM

OOOOO-boy!!!! I can't believe that with all the tin cans I used on Stick Dulcimers that this didn't occur to me!

I've already modified it in my mind and sometime soon I'll take a couple of different approaches to the tin can harp! Got any idea how those would sell in those damn artsy-fartsy craft shops? Just a few changes here and there and.............gawd I love it!!!!

THANK YOU ULI!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: Helen
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 07:15 PM

'Spaw,

Is a tin-can Aeolian harp equivalent to your very first ever jar of Vegemite - hint, hint???

Hint, hint, hint?????

Helen


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: Helen
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 07:21 PM

I'm sure I have told this story before, but when the man who made my 34 string harp - the first harp he had made - he brought it to a folk weekend when it was at the stage of having strings on, but not finished yet. As he was carrying it to his car when he was leaving the wind started blowing through the strings and making beautiful music. He was so fascinated with it that he put it in the car, then drove away, and when I turned to go back inside the hall he had left behind his beloved mountain dulcimer - a finely crafted and beautiful instrument - lying there all forlorn. I rang him up when I got home and asked if he had forgotten something and he still hadn't realised he had left it behind.

Those sounds in the strings were hauting, ethereal, from another world.

Helen


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: Sorcha
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 07:28 PM

Yes, they are. Sometimes I will set my 29 string outside just to listen to it. Wonder where Peter is???? Peter, O Peter..........


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: Helen
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 07:34 PM

"haunting" - some ghost or ghoulie just stole the "n" - and it wasn't a big hairy ghoulie either.

Helen


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 07:57 PM

Uli is the fellow from that first site that was linked. He mentions at that site a desire for info on strings. Any thoughts?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 07:35 AM

A farm near to where I grew up had a gate made of tubular metal. On the underside of the bars were a number of small holes. When the wind blew past, which is most of the time, as it was close to our favourite kite flying hill, it produced a most eerie sound. It was not loud, but consisted of an assortment of whisted notes, which altered in pitch slightly depending on hor fast the wind blew across a particular hole. It is an enduring memory of my childhood.
It is not an Aeolian Harp, but perhaps it could be the Aeolian Gate?
Quack
Geoff the Duck.


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: Peter T.
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 10:35 AM

Thank you all very much, I knew you wouldn't let me down, being as I am somewhat ghostly at the moment, though I continue to reverberate sympathetically and in harmonic overtones of affection.....

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 11:55 AM

Yeah, Peter, back atcha.

~S~


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: Helen
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 06:53 PM

The sound clips I heard on those sites are different to how a harp sounds in the wind and I suspect that the strings on the Aeolian harps have been tuned in unison.

When a harp is in tune, or especially when it is tuned to a pentatonic scale, all the strings sound in the wind and it sets up harmonics. The sounds are fuller and more melodic.

If I can get a tape recording of my harp in the wind (that's the easy part) how could I share that with everyone here? Is there an easy way to get it from a tape recording to a piece of digital music?

Helen


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: GUEST,uli
Date: 05 Sep 01 - 08:56 AM

Helen, of course the sound of an aeolian harp depends on how it is tuned. In my opinion (and in English/ German harp tradition) , it is important to tune all strings in the same tone (or an octave) because the first 6 tones of the ground-tone's harmonic give pleasant harmonies, but the following tones are closer together (up to half tones!) and give a cacophony when the ground tone of the strings is different. Just test the harp in high windspeeds and your ears will fall off... See also http://members.aol.com/woinem3/bilder/aeotoene.jpg for the gaps between the tones. It is the same for all ground tones! Sure, you can tune in different tones, but then you have to make sure, that the higher pitches are not reached by the instrument. As far as I know, the quality of an aeolian harp is considered as to get as many different tones as possible on ONE string. Uli


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: GUEST,uli
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 07:21 AM

Helen, do you have a sound card in your computer? You can connect the earplug output of your recorder with the input plug of your soundcard. In windows 95-98 a program called "wave studio" is implemented for digitalizing your tape sound. Keep sounding! Uli


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 08:39 AM

Uli, thanks for continuing to think about all of this. Many of us are not at Mudcat every day, so please do not be concerned if Helen does not answer very soon.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 12:06 PM

"Mudge and I own two aeolian harps (one was a wedding present almost 20 years ago) but have never been able to use them as all of our windows open out. Hope to put in a good old fashioned over and under window in at least one room so the breezes can play over the strings!

Bat Goddess


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 12:33 PM

GUEST,uli,

'Wave Studio' is a program produced by Creative Labs - you've got it on your system because you have SoundBlaster sound card. It is not part of Windows


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: Helen
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 08:05 PM

Uli,

I did read what you said just after you posted it but I confess that I don't understand everything you said about harmonics.

I understand what you are saying about trying to get different tones from one string, though.

When I heard the harp, on a few occasions, singing in the wind, it wasn't a very strong wind, so I haven't heard it when the wind is at full blast, and I probably never will because I wouldn't want to have my harp out in a wind that strong anyway.

So, you have given me some things to think about.

I do have Wave Studio so I'll have a play around with it and see what I can do.

Helen


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Subject: RE: A Kindness: Picture of an Aeolian Harp??
From: GUEST,uli
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 05:43 PM

Hi BAT GODESS, you can stand your harp upright between an almost closed normal door in a through draught. I know it works well like this since we don't have such over and under windows in Germany :-)

HELEN, I'd like to get a link to your harp results. Happy playing with the wonderful tones! Uli


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